Thoughts on the War between Great Britain & America  1776-1778
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This 238-page volume contains an unknown writer's opinions on the Revolutionary War and proposed military strategies, composed September-October 1776 and February 1778. Among other topics, the author discussed the relationship between land and naval forces and their relative strengths, explained possible ways in which economic affairs might affect the progress of the war, and promoted a strategy of dissolving the unity of the colonies.

The volume is divided into two primary sections, with the author offering his thoughts on the war in late 1776 (pp. 1-146) and in early 1778 (pp. 147-238). Introductory remarks at the beginning of the first section suggest that the author intended his treatise for members of the British government. He focused on financial and economic affairs, such as the colonies' different currencies, the effects of privateering, and the difficulty of funding a war. In addition, he presented detailed proposals for British action, often revolving around a strategy of dissolving the colonies' confederacy. Some suggestions focused on specific cities or colonies.

The second section of the volume contains similar thoughts and strategies, with a focus on the differences between land and sea power. Though the author believed a British victory unlikely, he encouraged the government to focus on naval actions rather than land forces. Despite his skepticism, he concluded by affirming that the rebellion could be defeated by disrupting colonial unity and conquering Georgia by military force.

This volume belonged to Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, and includes his bookplate.

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